The Houses October Built (2014) – Review

The one and only: found – footage/documentary horror.

Probably clichéd to the core, a group of five drive throughout the US in search of the scariest haunt house. The Halloween extravaganza has already began as we are 5 days short of the big day and the filming crew is hoping to create an exciting and scary documentary.

Their ultimate goal is to find the most extreme haunt. They are looking for a really good scare, but not the one that you get in silly theme parks for kids, but the real twisted one; the one that will have the most macho guy running away shrieking like a little girl. The one where you’ll find yourself being chased by a masked killer wielding a very real chainsaw.

It’s wonderful how we are not exhausted by boring introductions and pointless chattering. The team, four guys and one fearful girl, goes straight into action and we are lucky enough to get an idea of fun scare jumps from the start. Generally,  when it comes to the story, I might say that the beginning of their journey, as well as the preparation itself, are perfunctorily dramatized with glib clichés that we are all used to by now.

Up to the first hour, the movie is a pretty interesting and entertaining documentary about haunt houses all over the US. The crew documents their moments of fun, drinking, fighting with weird locals and the quite tense experiences they witness inside the haunt houses, but there is a point when you start wondering: What exactly is this that I am watching?

To be frank, it should be more properly viewed as a creepy documentary about the Halloween craze rather than a horror movie. But since there are some faint indications of fiction and that something might be going really wrong, you keep and keep watching until you finally get a glance of the ‘horror’ part. What really does the trick, is the very first seconds of the film, when we actually get an idea of what’s going to happen to the crew and their grim ending. If it wasn’t for these 15 seconds or so, there is a slight chance some people wouldn’t go through the entire movie.

After traveling throughout the country, the crew ends up in Louisiana for their last filming. That was the actual purpose of their trip, to find the most twisted, scariest and most extreme haunt house, and allegedly they will find it there.


You’ll get to see these guys a lot

The last 20 minutes are quite satisfying. Things start to heat up and it becomes clear that there might be something more to the traditional Halloween fright that the crew is looking for. They were looking for the most extreme horror and they got themselves into big trouble.

From the creepy-Halloween side of things, The Houses October Built is pretty awesome. Some costumes are absolutely terrifying and many of the Haunt-House experiences are totally entertaining. Porcelain masked weirdos, sinister clowns and disturbing settings synthesize an eerie atmosphere that is certainly successful.

The most satisfying part comes around the end. The last couple of minutes are genuinely disturbing and for those with claustrophobic tendencies, it’s going to be nightmarish. Director and star of the movie, Bobby Roe, used a quite simple idea and managed to create a really pleasing outcome that might linger with the audience for a day or two. Surprisingly, without any levels of excellence in narrative structure, this found-footage horror is well made and well cast. Its average score on IMDb doesn’t actually enhance my point, however, I am sure it’s more enjoyable than what a dull 5 indicates.

To be fair, The Houses October Built is a very entertaining choice for the horror fans, for the simple reason that it’s full of creepy masked locals, really tense Haunt Houses and a very dark and macabre setting. Sometimes that’s more than enough.


And to quote Dorothy in Jerry Maguire: “You Had me at hello”. A very rare 7/10

6 Responses to “The Houses October Built (2014) – Review”
  1. It sounds all right to me. I love the title. Very inspired. Also love the review!


  2. Sounds simple and scary: perfect! ha. I’m looking forward to seeing this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • maria kriva says:

      I hope you like it! 🙂 It features some of the best costumes I’ve ever seen! The first hour is a actually a really cool the last 20 minutes it becomes more of a horror movie…a quite disturbing one if you put yourself in their shoes! Haha! Let me know what you think once you get to watch it!


  3. thycriticman says:



    Liked by 1 person

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